every morning and go on.
"The first week Elizabeth was missing Lois and I thought, 'This is
going to end. She's going to come back into our lives.'"
But as days and then weeks went by Ed and Lois Smart were faced
with finding ways to bear the unbearable with no end in sight.
"It was so awful to not know what Elizabeth was going through. Was
she being tortured? Was she going through utter hell? It was so
painfully difficult," Ed Smart said, as the words caught in his
throat. "There was a time when you just wanted to know is she dead or
is she alive?"
As hard as it was, it was best for Lois to imagine Elizabeth set
free of her mortal life, free of torment, in a far better place. She
had five other children God had given her to raise and she was
determined to keep the devastation that had befallen the family from
"Lois had a vision that said she could not allow the kidnapping of
one [of her children] to essentially kidnap all of them," Ed Smart
said. "She felt strongly that Elizabeth, whether she came back to us
or not, was truly in the Lord's hands."
He could not shake his solid conviction that Elizabeth was out in
the world somewhere -- not even when he was told, "You know Ed,
statistically she's dead. The chances are so minute that you will
find her and you can't allow this to destroy your family."
He knew he needed to make more of an effort to go on with life but
he also knew he had to do everything in his power to find his missing
At one point he was admitted to a hospital on the verge of a
nervous breakdown, but after one night Ed Smart knew his place was at
home. Lois met him at the door of the house and they went inside,
knelt and prayed.
"I've always trusted God but we can become so traumatized, so
caught up in the situations we're in, we don't think about relying on
God," he said. "Lois and I always have our morning and evening
prayers and our prayers on our food but this was something so very
different. It was like our spirits were talking to each other. I
really felt the Lord was there. I cherish that period ... There were
many good things that came from those months."